Separation of Church and State?


October, 2000

Dear Ministry Friends,

The great American evangelist Charles Finney once said, "The time has come for honest men to take consistent ground in politics... God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in a country such as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. God will bless or curse this country according the course Christians take in politics."

What does God think about mixing religion and politics? To start with, Jesus said He is our "King" (Matthew 27:11) and the Bible says the "government will be upon His shoulders" (Isaiah 9:6-7). And Jesus is destined to "rule the nations with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:15). I don't think God could get anymore involved in government than that!

Next, consider the fact that the first three-fourths of your Bible is Old Testament. The Old Testament is mostly accounts of the rise, reign, and fall of various Kings — along with the prophets God sent to speak to the Kings (as well as the people) about their national conduct. There were good kings like David, there were bad kings like Ahab, and there were plots and efforts of kings to gain power, stay in office, and other political maneuvering. And there was the mass exodus of a nation of people fleeing from a bad king in Egypt (which covered several books of the Bible).

God saw fit to nearly fill our Bible with a thousand years of such "political" activity when He certainly could have limited it to a few pages as examples and been done with it! Why did He choose to make well over half of your Bible full of issues related to government? Because God is a relevant God, and He knows that the condition of your government (that is, who is in leadership) will profoundly affect your life. Those that we put in leadership will "make our future" — from the local school board, city council, mayor, county leaders, state government leaders, Congressmen, Supreme Court judges, all the way to the President.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 6:4, "If then you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?" Paul clearly implied that Christians should "vote" for those who have the most respect in the church. And I believe we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be rewarded (or experience the loss of reward) for what we did in this life. "So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12). I dare say that will include how we voted.

Some people assert that the church and Christians should not get involved in "political" issues of the government. Actually, any issue that deals with morality (abortion, homosexuality, gambling, etc.) and spirituality (prayer in public places, the Bible in schools, etc.) is actually the domain of the church — and it is government that should stay out of it! This is the way it was in all of the Christian world for almost 2,000 years. It is only in about the last 40 years that the leaders of our government have decided to jump into religious issues (mainly to suppress morality and spirituality) and start calling them "political issues."

Just because the government passes a law related to a moral or spiritual issue does not mean the church (Christians) can no longer address those issues or try to get involved to change them. In fact, it was our American founding fathers' desire to keep the government as limited as possible — especially when it came to moral and spiritual issues. The very first amendment to our constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The very first concern of those who created our government was that the free exercise of Christianity (the religion they knew and brought to America) should not be changed by the government!

The only way that Christianity could be negatively impacted by the government would be for un-Godly people to get into positions of power and authority. And this is exactly what has happened in America.

Originally, Godly people were in the leadership of our country. John Adams was the second president of America, and the first occupant of the newly constructed White House. President Adams authored an inscription which he had engraved into the marble facing of the fireplace mantle of the State Dining Room. It reads, "I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on THIS HOUSE and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under this Roof."

I went to Washington D.C. in 1999 to pray over the three branches of our government. I was able to get access into the White House, and went to this very State Dining Room. I saw this inscription as I laid hands on the walls praying for the Executive branch of our government.

I also went to the Supreme Court building where the 10 Commandments are inscribed in the stone of the building. I laid hands on the door posts and prayed for the Supreme Court.

Last, I went to the Capitol building where scriptures are also engraved and a giant painting of the baptism by John the Baptist adorns the wall of the main rotunda. (In fact, a church used the House of Representatives for Sunday services in the 1800's. The congregation numbered nearly 2,000 people and the pastor preached from the platform of the Speaker of the House.) I felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray for the Congress in an unusual, out of the way part of the building. After I returned to Tulsa with a book about how the Capitol building was constructed, I discovered that the place which I stood to pray was the very first section constructed of the huge, complex series of buildings that are joined together to make our Capitol. The original structure that I prayed in first housed the Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court in the year 1800! I prayed over the literal foundations of the original Capitol building.

This nation once had Godly leaders. It is our generation (if you count 40 years as a generation) that has allowed leaders into positions to begin dismantling Christianity. You and I are part of that generation! I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before God someday and stick my hands in my pockets and be looking at my shuffling feet — in shame over inactivity and apathy while my nation went to Hell!

It is a statistical fact that over 90% of all missionaries (and money spent on missions) has come from America. So it is no wonder that Satan has wanted to undermine and destroy our Christianity. And this underscores the importance of you and I doing all we can to restore Godliness to this nation. Quite simply, all that has to be done is to reverse the actions and processes that caused the decline. And the practical way to accomplish that is to vote men and women into authority who will arrest the moral decay. We also need to pray and fast, and pray for the salvation of those already in various positions. But in our form of government, it is your vote that puts leaders there or removes them!

And we must vote by Christian principles — not according to which politician is promising to do the most for you or me personally. Satan promised Eve "wisdom" if she would just "vote" for the devil! And 2nd Corinthians 11:14 says that the devil sometimes "disguises himself as an angel of light." We cannot vote for who "manages their image" the best. We must analyze where every man or woman stands on Christian issues, and evaluate their personal character.

The Old Testament Jews had civil duties they were supposed to fulfill. Please do your part as a New Testament Christian to fulfill your civic responsibilities through practical action and spiritual warfare prayer to change our nation for God! Be a part of this Holy cause. There is a whole "world" of people out there whose spiritual destiny is depending on you.

Doing my part,

Dale Leander

P.S. — If you believe in what Judi and I are doing for the Body of Christ (and our nation in general), send an offering this month to help our ministry financially. Our finances had a summer slump and our ministry needs a boost upward! We also ask for your prayers on a regular basis. We are fighting the good fight of faith for God's Kingdom every day. Thank you!


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